The reality of some elderly adults not filling all their prescriptions, because they can't afford them, increases the risk of illness, some life threatening. But Elaine Tate of Darnell, Louisiana, is doing what she can to make sure that doesn't happen.
A volunteer with the Angel Ministries, Tate, suffering from emphysema and other conditions, knows firsthand what it's like.
"I look back on it now and I'm thinking, boy, I was really sick but then when I was actually living it, it was just a way of life," said Tate.
So on any given day, she is sharing how she managed, talking at local churches, senior organizations, and pharmacies.
Tate took it upon herself to spread the word about programs she found that help pay for medications. Like a benefit called the Pfizer for Living Share Card, that lets Medicare patients buy up to a 30-day supply of certain prescription drugs for a flat $15.00 fee.
Given that the average cost for prescriptions is around $70.00, pharmacist Philip Cash says he knows the difference that makes to his customers.
"You see people that do without their medications, take it every other day, break it in half, and you're taking sub-maximum doses," said Cash. "And down the road you have all the neuropathies that go along with the diabetes, you have the hypertension, the strokes that happen, the heart disease that happens as a result of not being on medication."